New Delhi, June 15: The Special Investigation Team (SIT), probing the sensational Gauri Lankesh murder on Friday claimed that Parashuram Waghmare, the last of the six suspects arrested in connection with the case was her assassin. “Waghmare shot Lankesh and the forensic report has confirmed that (rationalists) Govind Pansare, MM Kalburgi and Lankesh were murdered with the same weapon, which is yet to be traced,” a senior officer in the SIT said.Also Read - Hum Agar Uthe Nahi Toh: Over 400 Rights Groups to Come Together to Raise Awareness on Issues Faced by Marginalised Sections
The official further stated that Waghmare’s organisation comprised of people drawn from Hindu right groups. It had around 60 members spread across at least five states but had no name. “We discovered that this gang has a network in Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka. We did not find their Uttar Pradesh connection so far,” the official informed PTI. Also Read - Rahul Pleads Not Guilty in Defamation Case, Says Will Fight RSS, BJP Harder
He also said though it recruited people from hardline Hindutva organisations like Maharashtra-based Hindu Jagruti Samiti and Sanatan Sanstha, these outfits may not be directly responsible for the killings. Notably, both organisations had denied their role in the killing of the three. Also Read - Centre should take people's opinion into account before making decisions: Irom Sharmila
The development comes a day after the Karnataka Police claimed that renowned film and theatre personality Girish Karnad, along with several other litterateurs and rationalists were also on the list of those suspected of killing the journalist-activist. The revelation was made after the police recovered a diary from the suspects with entries in Devanagiri script. The diary lists personalities known for having strong views against hardline Hindutva, who were to be targeted, PTI quoted sources as saying.
Other than Karnad, the list in the diary also names politician-litterateur B T Lalitha Naik, pontiff Veerabhadra Channamalla Swamy of Nidumamidi Mutt and rationalist C S Dwarakanath.
Gauri Lankesh, a journalist with strong Leftist views and anti-Hindutva ideology, was killed at the entrance of her house here on September 5 evening last year, triggering a nationwide outrage.
(With agency inputs)